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Publisher Description

Discover Malcolm Gladwell's breakthrough debut and explore the science behind viral trends in business, marketing, and human behavior.

The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.

Health, Mind & Body
November 1
Little, Brown and Company
Hachette Digital, Inc.

Customer Reviews

McIntire ,

not terribly scientific

I strongly recommend this read. Nevertheless, the author's style has a patina of trite, American suburbia. Like many news reporters, he makes unsupported deductions, conclusions which could just as easily be the opposite of what he claims. His reasoning is often ludicrously unscientific. He does, however connect some interesting facts which most, including me, wouldn't normally connect. He has a refreshing way of viewing seemingly banal situations to give rare insight.

Richard Bakare ,

Social Contagion

Malcom Gladwell never disappoints. In another one of his careful analyses of correlation and causation in social dynamics, Gladwell delivers a unique dissection of the existing idea of Tipping Points. In a well structured format, he breaks down the three key factors that help identify when patterns “tip” into something inescapable. More importantly, he unpacks the details so that the concepts can be applied and not just understood. To that end I will try to use Covid as an allegory to explain the three key concepts.

Super Spreaders, so relevant to the containment of COVID. That 20% who 80 of the work or damage of propagating a social issue. Like the Butterfly Effect, a spreader acts as a rippling wave of small daily actions repeated blindly but putting the most people at impact based on our degrees of connectedness. Think of the popular person who seems to knows everyone; he or she passes it onto their social circle, who then pass it on to their networks.

Ideas that stick. When the wave hits the other 80%, it doesn’t simply wash over. The sand, sea urchins, and sting of the fast moving water stay with you the rest of the day. Ideas or issues are thus firmly implanted in the mind of all those it comes across. From a catchy jingle, to the latest hash tag challenge, or worse, a click bait conspiracy theory link haphazardly passed around social media. Those sticky ideas spread misinformation which only fuel the speed by promoting faulty logic.

Environmental conditions on the ground. As Gladwell puts it’ “Epidemics are sensitive to the conditions and circumstances of the times and places in which they occur.” Japan’s and New Zealand’s respective successes in handling Covid maybe more cultural than anything else. Each country familiar with mask use, limited physical contact, strong group ties, and a deference to scientific guidance.

The challenge is how to devise campaigns for social change that target the right 20%, to have a meaningful impact from small actions, and stick once they hit the mainstream. That is the deeper meaning and go forward challenge you get from The Tipping Point. Along with more of Gladwell’s beautiful narrative style and illustrative examples from unique perspectives on stories new and old.

Traceyellle ,

Brilliant Book

Gladwell’s insights and writing style are so compelling. This book is a delight.

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